Washington Sea Grant, the Port of Seattle, and NW Maritime Center are co-sponsoring a "basic watch standing" workshop for anyone interested in working on a commercial fishing vessel. No prior experience is required to attend this training. Topics include a variety of navigational basics. The training will occur on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the Nordby Building, at Fisherman’s Terminal, Seattle, and will last from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information, please visit: https://wsg.washington.edu/event/learn-when-to-wake-your-skipper/. Prior registration is required.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director will be holding a meeting to discuss the Department's Wild Future Initiative. Commercial fishing representatives are also encouraged to discuss their fishing operations in the West Coast and North Pacific and give their imput on the Department's operations and programs. The meeting will occur on April 22, 2016, at 1:30 pm, at the Nordby Conference Center, Fisherman's Terminal, Seattle.
On February 8, 2016, the President signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015. The Act removed the language that would have required commercial fishing vessels to follow new Survival Craft regulations. This means that commercial fishing vessels may continue to use their existing in-water survival craft in accordance with existing regulations. Please see the attached link for further details.
Senators Cantwell, Sullivan, and Murkowski have introduced legislation that would ensure our school children are eating fish and fish products that are caught only in U.S. waters or by U.S. vessels. Currently, fish served in school may be caught in foreign waters, by foreign fisherman, and processed in foreign countries. This legislation seeks to bolster the U.S. commercial fishing industry, while providing nutritious U.S. fish products to children in school.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1987) by a unanimous voice vote on Monday, February 1, 2016. The Act now goes to the White House for the President's signature. The legislation contains a provision actively sought by PSVOA, which now exempts newly constructed vessels ranging from 50-79 feet from the costly requirement of certification by classification societies. This certification requirement was originally prescribed by the 2010 Authorization Act.
Beginning on February 26, 2016, all commercial fishing vessels operating beyond 3 NM from shore are required to carry a Survival Craft that ensures no part of an individual is immersed in water. The minimum Survival Craft that currently meets this requirement is either a Buoyant Apparatus or a Life Float. Survival Craft exemption letters issued by the Coast Guard Seventeenth District (AK) that allow commercial fishing vessels to satisfy their Survival Craft requirement with a suitable "skiff" will become invalid for commercial fishing vessels operating beyond 3 NM shore from shore on February 26, 2016.
PSVOA applauds Senator Cantwell's strong criticism of the FDA's recent decision to approve genetically engineered salmon without a requirement that the product be labeled as such.